Where Did Your Twitter Account Go?

I had a pretty rude awakening this morning. Not a literal awakening, as that was quite gentle and came with the promise of hot coffee. No, this awakening was to how insecure our online world is these days. Now, I should point out that I was fully aware of these issues before today, but as time moves on you get complacent to the point that an event like what happened today really grates.

Every couple of days I drop by Twitter. It would be more often except that I’m self-aware enough to know that not everyone cares if I’ve cut my toenails (not recently), hot much chicken I ate (does a hammock count as a quantitative measurement these days?) or if I saw a thing. So I usually just drop in when I have something to say, absolutely must tell people about my toenail, chicken and thing situations or, as is usual, to see what others are saying. I use Twitter much like I use a news feed, with a few friends followed, but mostly companies so I can keep an eye on what they’re doing and maybe get some exclusive news from them. It’s worked that way for years.

This morning I logged into Twitter as part of my routine and wondered why my feed was filled with crap. It seemed that someone on my list was retweeting dozens of people and filling my timeline with stuff. As I didn’t recognise the name, I assumed I’d clicked on someone in a retweet by accident and so went to the list of people I was following to remove that person. It was there that I found out I’d been hacked.

I knew for a fact that I was following 59 accounts on Twitter, but this morning I suddenly had 91 accounts that I was following. I went through one by one, deleting those accounts and then revoking access to any applications that had been using Twitter to sign in to another place. Having done that I changed my password and left without reading anything as I hadn’t the inclination anymore. This afternoon I went back there and found that my feed was filled again and it turned out I was following 67 people this time. Not twelve hours after revoking application access and changing my password, my account had been violated again by someone who is no doubt a ten year old running code they found on the web.

So, if you’re following me on Twitter and am wondering what has happened, this right here is the reason that I am…

gone

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19 thoughts on “Where Did Your Twitter Account Go?

  1. Did you revoke access to every app or just some old ones? Changing your password makes no difference to OAuth tokens.
    Somewhat academic now you’ve left, of course.

    • Every single app in the section showing what had been authorised. To be honest, the only things there were trustworthy anyway but they may have been hacked themselves so they went.

      Rather annoyingly it has never let me activate two-factor authentication. It always sticks me with the list of countries and won’t let me choose anything other than USA, no matter the browser. Had I been able to set that up when I wanted this probably would have ended differently. As is, they lost a customer.

        • My Chromebook is nastiness free apart from permissions for extensions and the like, and I’m meticulous about those. And my phone? Everything she gets forced to download without permission has to be manually installed by me, and is deleted immediately. It is amazing how many sites have a little app with numbers for a name that they want you to download. I think the ad networks have a few dodgy ones that can tell you’re on a phone and drop an app on you in an effort to catch you out. Anyway, I keep an eye on my installed apps and go through them once a week.

          What I believe this to be is a mobile app based incursion. After changing my password the app still allowed me to be on Twitter without asking me to re-login.

  2. I just had a random thought, wondering who the first person to replace lyrics in a song with “Na na” was, and now have nowhere to share my inane thoughts. 😦

    I wonder what the other musicians at the time thought about that?

    No, listen, we don’t need to rhyme that line. We all just sing “Na na, nana, naaa na” to the same tune and we’re golden.

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